Dying with Dignity…Dying with Love

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Covid restrictions prevent daughter in Romania from being with her sick father

Readers may recall the daughter of an elderly corona patient who was unable to leave Romania to be there for her father due to covid restrictions. A walker for her father– what would normally be a simple request – became a major undertaking and it was only after many, many calls back and forth from Romania to Israel and to various departments at the hospital and at Ezer Mizion that Devorah, director at Ezer Mizion , was able to procure  one. The daughter was ecstatic and couldn’t stop thanking Ezer Mizion. But her joy was short-lived.

 Two weeks later, very early in the morning, Devorah got a call from Romania on her personal cell phone from the daughter. Crying uncontrollably, the daughter said that the hospital had just informed her that her father had passed away in the ward. Because of corona regulations, she is still was unable to come personally. And now she needed help to ensure that her father would be buried in the ground, not in a niche, and would be cared for with the requisite dignity.

With morning routine at her home quickly delegated, Devora contacted the chevra kadisha (Burial Society), arranged for a burial plot, and even got a fair price for it. The father was cared for and buried with full honor, as he deserved and would have wanted.

Tzzila, another Ezer Mizion director, shares her thoughts: During these insane days, when we are all so shaken up and find ourselves more often than not facing uncertainty, there are special moments in the Corona wards when I feel that G-d is right here at our side and guiding us.

A few more minutes in the corona ward…a few more smiles

It is very difficult to bear the cries of the patients’ families who, only with great difficulty and after extensive pressuring and imploring, are allowed in to see their relatives for just a few minutes.

And, on the other hand — there are our marvelous Ezer Mizion volunteers, who cannot get themselves to leave the ward, and, under restrictive, difficult conditions, dedicate themselves and invest intensive efforts for hours on end to ease things for patients, even if in the smallest ways, which, for these patients, has become their entire world!

On Sunday morning, when the airport was closed for flights, I received a special request from far, far away, across the ocean.

On the line was the daughter of a young patient whose condition had deteriorated rapidly, and this was her exact language: “I beg of you that someone should give me ‘face time’ to ask my father’s forgiveness. That is my only request. Please help me do it before he dies.”

In keeping with hospital regulations, our faithful Ezer Mizion ambassadors, the angels there inside the ward, partnered in arranging the visual communication line between the father and his daughter, sweetening the parting with words of conciliation and love.

The next evening, I met Penina, a volunteer who had just spent four intensive hours in the ward. I pleaded with her to go back to her family, but she insisted on going into the second ward, at least for a brief round. As she made her way to the bed of her first patient, she saw his pulse dropping and dropping and all the numbers sinking fast. Penina cried out “Shema Yisrael” and tremulously said Viduy (confession), as the numbers gradually fell to zero…

I called the son afterwards and, upon hearing his sobs and his cry of “Baruch dayan ha’emet (prayer said when hearing of a death),” I told him, “I want you to know that in his last moments, your Abba was not alone! An angel from Ezer Mizion was there with him, and his soul went up in a storm to the cry of “Shema Yisrael” that she recited with him.”

My dear friends, let us all cry together “Thank you Hashem (G-d)… for making me part of this empire of chessed — Ezer Mizion…”

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